Gateway to Devon's beautiful Axe Valley, this thriving market town is famous worldwide for Axminster carpets.
The superb quality Axminster carpet that rivalled Turkish carpets, was first made by Thomas Whitty in 1755. Each time a carpet was finished the bells at the Minster were rung in celebration. The Minster stands in its oasis of green at the heart of the town, and was once so prestigious that Saxon princes were buried here. Nearby is Axminster's museum in the Old Courthouse where you can find out more about the town's carpet industry.
Axminster is well known as the home of the River Cottage Local Produce Store and Canteen, offering a wide selection of the best local produce sourced by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and his team. You can also buy fresh local produce at the town's Thursday morning market, first chartered in 1204.
The East Devon Way footpath and Buzzard Route cycle track pass close to the town, while the mudflats of the Axe estuary are superb for birdwatching with curlew, oystercatcher, and egret.
Interesting places nearby include Loughwood Meeting House (NT) at Dalwood and the important non-fortified Middle Ages manor house of Shute Barton (NT) which supposedly boasts the largest open fireplace in England!
The town has a thriving artistic community and this is reflected in the Axminster Art Trail which includes sculptures like Roger Dean's farmer and cow by the Tesco walkway, representative of the town's long-established livestock market. Axminster also hosts the Axe Vale Festival of Gardening and Crafts in June, the largest festival of this type in the south west.
Axminster is also an excellent touring centre within easy reach of the Blackdown Hills, Hardy's Dorset, and the picturesque coastal resort of Lyme Regis, famous for its fossils.
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